I find a certain poetic beauty in the fact that my first visit to Lake Michigan served as the catalyst for a story set at the New Jersey Shore. The story’s ubiquitous setting amalgamates the various beach towns of my childhood, but the breakwater stones that characters Louise and Pete climb on make their way into the story like glacial erratics (Latin errare, meaning “to wander”)
While there are several types of poetry groups and workshops, this article talks about one of the more common formats. Participants of my workshop/poetry group meet in person and are on equal footing. The format has a few house rules to ensure everyone is heard and the meeting ends on time.
How many times have I wished that I could revise the past? More than I can count. And yet, it’s not until the late 19th Century that anyone seems to have fantasized about a mechanism through which one might do this.
With every new story I write, I try to include a bit of quirk and a bit of me. “Paper Darts” is no exception to this rule. k appears within the first line, paragraph, or the form the story takes such as a receipt or recipe. The most important role of the quirk is to entice the reader.
A month into our relationship, or perhaps less than that (trauma plays a kind of devastating cat’s cradle with memory), my abuser bought my book. He may have bought my second book, too, but I also do not remember this.
As an author and photographer, I am always interested in finding ways in which narratival writing and visual imagery intersect. For the reader, powerful writing conjures images of places, characters, and actions. For the viewer, a powerful narratival photograph depicts objects that– in relation to one another– create a story.
What can the role of dreams be in a writer’s process? Of course, one must be wary. Stories about dreams are boring, and prose that comes off as ‘dreamy’ is probably to be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, the feel of dreams can be reproduced in writing to astonishing effect.
There are writers who refuse to show their work in progress to anyone. It would affect the integrity of the idea, they may say; or perhaps they don’t want to show draft work that hasn’t been polished. Others depend on a writing group as the one certain source of support in the lonely enterprise that is writing.
A woman in my writing workshop said, “I don’t understand how you could be friends with someone like Lila.” I was writing about the chaos of my teens and early 20s, and especially my messy relationship with Lila, and I was workshopping my manuscript for the first time
Listeners who came of age in the era of streaming services and mp3s have largely missed out on a small pleasure of physical media for recorded sound:liner notes. It was once standard practice, when labels re-issued an important album, for them to commission a short essay from someone close to the band situating the recording in its musical and cultural context.
Recently, I prepared for a public reading by recording myself. I wanted to listen in a more focused way than by simply reading aloud so I could eradicate extraneous words, find phrases that tripped up my tongue, and become familiar enough with the story to keep my eyes on the audience instead of the page.
In so many ways, the first decades of this century have disappointed: No flying cars, no condos on the moon, no reliable political system. War, poverty, and ignorance continue unabated. Depression would appear to be the order of the day. Yet poets continue to turn out poems full of insight, joy, wit, and even optimism.